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Thank you for the replies so far. Whilst I'm interested in the broader take people have taken for this thread (and I'm finding it interesting), I would also appreciate comments on my original question please! The Nolan sounds interesting; I've looked at the Schuberth C3 as well, which is supposed to be quieter (but looks quite scary when the front is down!). At the moment, my first thought is the Shoei, but I'm looking for further suggestions . . . . .
I might have been one of the people that Endurodude referred to as I mentioned this in my session on Morocco.
In the winter time I use a BMW System V flip top. As I enter villages and towns I normally raise the top so I don't look like a Darth Vader character. With a fliptop I can easily eat and drink on the move (with some helmets it's almost impossible to get a hydration tube through).
With a standard helmet the only way to get some air in is to raise the visor, but I don't want to do this as I get wind in my eyes. So in summer time I remove the chin bar and short visor and stick on the convertors to make it into an open face (or what BMW calls a Jet Helmet) with the longer visor. This way I get lots of air in but with the visor still in place.
I looked at the BMW System VI helmet which has a nice sunshade pull down but it doesn't covert into an open face so that's a no-no for me.
The only thing I would really like is a sunshade for when I'm riding into the setting sun. It seems I am always riding west in the evening!
Thanks for the suggestion, Tim. Unfortunately, I was at work when you spoke about Morocco; I was gutted, as I REALLY want to go next year, and it would have been really useful. I've had a look at the BMW system 6, but I might check out the 5.
Not a flip, but I have a Nolan N43 Air for the summer holiday trip. Technically it's a Jet helmet, but has the ability to "morph" into a full face (for wind and rain protection). Wore it down through Spain last year and the features were superb. Excellent ventilation and has a drop down dark visor too. Could be worth a look. Can have bluetooth N-Com retro fitted too.
As for protection, best stay between the hedges, I say...
Just to stir things a bit I wear open face helmets all the time - personal choice - and yes I know if i hit the ground with me face its going to be messy - but I will take that risk and have done for a huge amount of miles over the last 30 odd years. But my point was about helmet safety standards and my current open face an Arai - has a gold sticker meaning it passes some crap bench test but offers no facial protection, my main helmet for travelling over the last 10 years was a schuberth jet with chin bar long visor and sun visor - it had a gold star badge as well. As for full face ask a paramedic about other injuries related to them - often serious neck fractures if the jaw hits the ground, or worse people pulling them off to get at an unconcious riders face causing lots of damage to heads brains ( a very good friend of mine was killed this way by the driver of the car he collided with) So like Dougie said lots of people have a story. If you want my two pennies worth - flip fronts can be heavy, rattly (unless your forking out a fortune) - if it was me I would say ride a bit slower take in the scenery and wear an open face lid - but to be honest its not me its your head go what your comfortable with - but as for border crossings as has been said above somewhere take your hat off cos its unlikely you will be crossing unless you do..
What I wan is a helmet with an external sunshade.
I used to have an open face helmet with one but bought a new helmet some 2-3 years ago that has a screen in front. It is great unless its a sunny day and you are not facing away from the sun.
Anyone got suggestion..?
As for Volvos. the most scary car I ever had was a volvo 740 estate. was too scary for me, so I sold it and bought a Citroen XM estate which was a delight to own.
The Volvo had an engine management system that was programmed to shut down the engine whenever it detected any error. Usually this was inconvenient, but having been parked twice about 4 or 5 lanes into the M5/M6 interchange it just got too exciting for me.
I will stick to using open face helmets until I can find a flip up that has a sun shade.
With helmets, fit is everything so if one type doesn't fit right, no matter how much you like it, it won't be as comfy or safe.
I used to have full face helmets all the time, then off road helmet and goggles as well. The plastic chin piece isn't protective past mud and the odd stone.
I have a Nolan 102 I bought several years ago for £250 which has been good, slightly heavier than standard and the dark visor was outside the clear one so they both got dirty! The 103 is inside so much better design. It feels sturdy, comfortable (for me) and the pinlock is brilliant in damp, cold weather. It never fogs. I found the visor opening slightly restrictive on side views. The button to raise the front is brilliant and can't be done by accident but uses one hand.
I also have a Lidls flip front (£39.99) which is the same helmet as Viper sell but without the bluetooth. It fits me better but that is down to head shape. It has better side visibility, the dark visor is on the inside and can be used with the front up, though it's not rated for riding like this. Its a bit more difficult to raise the front as it's only one recessed button. Its a little noisier than 'normal' full face. For the price I also got extra pads and baffles and a spare visor!
I'd like to try the Shark Evoline as the front goes right over out of the way and you can still use the visor and it's safety checked as both full and open face. If it fits well it could be good.
I also have a Davida open face which is very comfy leather interior and very quiet. I think it looks cool in Union Flag colours, too. I'm preferring it more and more
I hope that helps you
On safety (and as a mechanical engineer), I can see no reason why a properly designed flip front doesn't give as much protection as a full face.
You'l never see any racer in street biking/MX/Enduro wearing a flip ( they could talk to the camera men and their crew easier)... The only exception is that the "Trails" guys wear open face but they only hop up and down sewer pipes !
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